The purpose of our letter was to try to establish some practical lines of behavior in a very controversial area. We think that Magnavita and colleagues' statements are contradictory when, while dismissing our proposal to test "physicians who intend to start working as surgeons," propose to test "medical students as well as surgeons." This would imply testing a much larger population of people who again are not yet workers, and it is unclear which body should be in charge of both the tests and the subsequent counseling. It is also contradictory to state that "those found to be positive should be adequately informed about what is currently considered a possible risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens to patients in some selected surgical procedures," and subsequently admit that "there is no general agreement on what kind of procedure has to be considered exposure prone."
Ciuffa V, Tirrozzo SF, Vento S. Management of Health Care Workers With Blood-Borne Infections—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(12):1490-1491. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.12.1489-a